Former actor Tanushree Dutta, who is the frontrunner of Bollywood’s MeToo movement, has slammed Cine and TV Artists’ Association (CINTAA) once again for not providing her legal aid. Dutta spoke up about alleged sexual harassment by Nana Patekar in 2008 on the sets of Horn Ok Please. She also said that even a decade back she went to CINTAA with her complaint but they did not take it seriously, which the association recently accepted.
Recently CINTAA reopened the case after public pressure but Dutta claims that they have denied giving her legal aid. She had asked for legal aid because she had gone to meet CINTAA members in the presence of their lawyer and because Patekar has already threatened her with a defamation case.
“CINTAA refused saying it is not their policy to provide legal aid in such cases, however, they said the only thing they can do to help is to revive my old complaint from the year 2008 and take action on it. They asked me to send a letter through my representative to revive my old complaint so they could take immediate action.
When I sent the letter they suddenly had a problem with the fact that it was not me, but my representative who sent the letter and asked for a cover letter authorising my representative to represent me at Cintaa. I sent the cover letter along with the letter with my signature to revive the old complaint. Still no action. It seems their support of MeToo is only limited to media interaction and big words. Actions speak louder than words!!” said Dutta in a statement.
The actress is also furious about the fact that even while the Houseful 4 team has dropped Patekar, all his scenes that he has shot in six days will show up in the final cut. “When major production houses have dropped those that have been named and shamed and major stars have taken a stand against working with such individuals even Government elected officials are stepping down, CINTAA’s poor logic of letting the law of land decide before they take action is laugh worthy! Thus proven again that the actors association in India can never be trusted to bring any retribution in sexual harassment cases which is endemic and rampant in Bollywood.”
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Dutta added, “It’s sickening that the only kind of retribution that I was hoping for is also squashed! Given the law and order situation in our country where harassment cases are not only hard to prove but also go on for years and years and very rarely bring victims any justice. I mean if there was a full film unit present and still these 4 individuals managed to harass me, intimidate me, threaten me and then call goons to vandalize my car and no one batted an eyelid or came forward to help or protest shows how many would actually come forward to help get me justice legally.”
“When major production houses have dropped those that have been named and shamed and major stars have taken a stand against working with such individuals even Government elected officials stepping down, CINTAA’s poor logic of letting the law of land decide before they take action is laughworthy!”
Earlier, CINTAA General Secretary Sushant Singh had said that they are in the process of setting up a special committee consisting of actor Raveena Tandon, Renuka Shahane, director Amole Gupte and others who will handle the cases relating to the matter.
“We will form a special committee to handle the cases. Raveena Tandon, Renuka Shahane, Amole Gupte, journalist Bharati Dubey, three members of POSH at Workplace (Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the workplace) has agreed to be a member of the special committee. We have sent emails to a few others to join the committee,” Singh had said.